20 Things to Never Say to a Stay At Home Mom


Whether or not to stay home is a tough choice many Moms have to make and parents who opt out of jobs to raise kids are often met by a range of comments, from the silly to the downright rude! Here’s a few of the worst things to say to a Stay at Home Mom (SAHM).

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#1   Oh, so you don’t work.

#2  You spend all day with your kids – I can’t imagine how awful that must be.

#3   I’m jealous. I wish my husband was rich, so I wouldn’t have to work either.

#4  So, what do you do all day?

#5   I’m sure you’re not the only one who ever wasted money on a degree.

#6   Awwwh – that explains why your son/daughter is so clingy.

#7   Oh, I assumed your house would be so much cleaner, since you didn’t work

#8   Good for you.

#9   All that freetime – don’t you get bored

#10  It must be nice not to have to work

#11  Aah, that’s so good of your husband to let you do that.

#12  I couldn’t do that , I need to have a life.

#13  When do you plan on getting a real job

#14  Do you feel like, getting your degree was a waste of time

#15  Your husband must do really well, I can’t afford to stay at home.

#16  If I were at home full-time, my house would be spotless

#17  Since you’re not busy could you….. for me?

#18  So, you’re just a Mom

#19  Must be nice being able to drink coffee with friends all day.

#20 That explains why you’re so Mumsy looking.

What about the Working Parents? Read what they put up with in Worst Things to say to a Working Mom

What other thoughtless things have people said to you about your choice to stay at home with your kids – feel free to add more in the comments section below!

  • jenniferb

    #17 is the bugbear of mine – regularly asked by working friends/husband to do things, because not working. And the whole you must have so much time to meet friends for coffee, lunch – lucky you.

  • MichelleD

    19’s my favourite actually… after you’ve done the cooking, cleaning, washing, ironing, mountain of homework for jnr infant, 1st, 2nd, 4th & 6th class, mended bikes, pumped go-cart, painted presses, walls, ceiling, hoovered, mopped up puppies puddles, dragged various child to chosen after school activities, hung mirrors, pictures, mended bikes, fed and cleaned out the chickens, rabbits, guineas, dogs, ponys, planted/tended the carrots, spuds, tomatoes, strawberries, etc mowed the grass, washed the windows, car, weeded, planted, watered, made the jam etc etc sure there’s still time to pool the childcare responsibility and have a coffee and apple turnover with a friend on occasion! I don’t give too much thought to comments made by others, have lots to keep me busy as I’m sure they do too! x

    • Lyn Dromey

      Well said!! I’m a sahm to five boys and I was recently told that I am a slave to six men and I am a disgrace to women because I pick up after them and I am no longer a human being!!!!!!!!! You what I say to that?? Come walk in my shoes and then judge me!! I worked until my fourth prevnancy and now I at home with my children that was my decision and no one else’s, I have always found the worst attitude and criticism comes from other women!! Love this page thanks

  • leahjoan

    Someone in evening college once said that, “I hate it when I go a party and while conversing with a lady she says, I’m a stay at home mum. That is such a conversation killer.”
    At that moment I felt so uncomfortable because I was the only stay-at-home mum in my class. I avoided him for the rest of the year to avoid any awkwardness between us.

  • Sarah

    I have heard all those comments from time to time. And don’t get me wrong I love being at home with my little one but I must say it is the loneliest job I have ever had. I went from being a customer service agent to being alone. I know I am not because I have my little one but she is not an adult and that’s what is lonely. I seemed to loose all my friends. When I had her they all promised to visit me in hospital and set up play dates but she is now nearly 3 and none of that has happened. I did try and keep in contact with them but in the end I got fed up chasing them. And the sickening thing is they work part time and have kids so they could manage it sometime. I don’t work but I really want to and as soon as the employer hears I have a little one you can see it in their face that I am not wanted in this job. I wish I could prove it so I could sue their backsides for discrimination.

    No one ever tells you how hard it is being a stay at home mum.

    • JennyH

      I hear that Sarah, I was working part time, lost my job, went back to education for a year with the intent of updating my skill set and then got to be a mam again to my second (who is nearly 3) after an 11.5 yr gap. Not entirely surprised but had given up hope of it happening. Now at home because I have no family nearby who could help me mind her so any real attempt at re-entering the workforce will have to wait till she is in playschool at least.

      Even though I live in an estate I feel isolated and lonely much of the time and I know that is partly because any good friends I have are working and truly have so little time to spend with their own families in the little time they have off work. I, like you, have given up chasing those who don’t wish to make a similar effort with me. Those are people who think that because they are so much busier than me, that their life and their schedules are inherently more important than mine. If I didn’t make the effort, I never saw them. And not driving means I had to shell out for buses, taxis etc that I could ill afford, but took anyway.

      Went 3 months without seeing one of those people once and she mailed me and asked why we hadn’t seen each other in so long and I replied saying that friendship was a two-way street and that I was tired of being the only one to make any effort. I said that she seemed to think that her busier lifestyle absolved her of having to make any effort in our friendship and challenged her to prove me wrong. That was 8 months ago and I haven’t heard from her since.

      And dyou know what, I feel like a weight has been lifted off me by giving myself the permission to let go of people who only take and never give in return. Yes being a SAHM can be lonely but we’ll get through it x

    • JJ

      This is a stage of life that does not last. Store up as many memories as you can, because when they begin to leave your nest you may find yourself nostalgic and in need of the memories. It gets better. I am a healthcare professional, but since hubby does the same work and there really isn’t enough to keep both of us busy in this economy, we decided to raise our own kids as much as possible instead of farming them out to strangers with possibly different values. My friends who did that have quietly reinforced over the years that we made a good decision as they related all the woes with jail, drugs, pregnancy, etc. Hang in there, and I believe you will not regret this when all is said and done. As my nest begins to empty, I can pop a tear when I find a certain toy in a box I am going through, and oh, those old photos….

  • My youngest is starting playschool next September and already I’m being asked when am I going back to work. Its like when they were babies that was ok but now I must be a real member of society. I worked for 17 years and I’m in no hurry to return! I really enjoy being at home but it can get lonely. That’s the ONLY downside.
    Oh I’m told we must be very well off if I can stay at home. I just ignore the comments because some people genuinely are better parents for working. No use having an unfulfilled, unwilling mother at home. Better to be a happy working mother.
    I’m a very happy SAHM but I know there are people who feel it was a career wasted. Each to their own.

  • Being a stay at home mom is rewarding but also very sad. Your isolated from the world, barely any adult interaction, you clean and do the same thing everyday, nothing changes, you know what the next day is all about before it starts, Not that you dont love your kids, husband, and love knowing your taking care of them, but a mom can loose who they are real quick, they can become an object in their own home, No life outside of walls, I call it prison, when I go to the store I tell ppl I escaped just to feel sunshine.. I was a working mom for many years and loved being around ppl, I was so full of life and always smiling, since my last 2 were born which are twin boys, (i have 5 all together) I barely smile any more, I dont work, its caused me and my husbands marriage to suffer, Im always depressed. My kids and my husband are my life, but Im only living for them, I dont exist any more. So my opinion on working moms compared to stay at home moms, be glad your in the position to work, I envy you!

  • Brittany

    As a mother who is not a stay at home mom, I think a lot of these are completely rude. At the same time, #3 and #11 are understandable. I would love to be a stay at home mom. I would love to be with my child and not have to spend more time away from him than with him. I would do that if my husband made enough money for us to make it on just his income. You can’t blame mom’s for wanting to be able to do what you are doing. That being said, #’s 3 and 11 can be worded better to not be rude. Being a stay at home mom would be much easier for me. Not just because of my job, but because I want to be with my child. Bottom line. I’m not saying a stay at home mom has it easy, but it is easier for many. If you cannot acknowledge that, then you are ungrateful for the opportunity to raise your child the way you want. I am grateful for my job, but I will also be grateful when/if the opportunity comes for me to stay at home with my child. All that being said, the other comments on the list are rude. When people say such things, just say you are just very blessed and grateful to have the ability to raise your child the way you want to.

    • Misty

      I don’t think either a stay at home mom or a working mom should be judged either way. It’s all different based on circumstances. Like you said you couldn’t afford to stay at home. On the other hand I can’t afford to work right now. I got pregnant in my third year of college. Ended up having to drop out my last semester due to complications with my pregnancy. After having my daughter we both were in and out of the hospital with other medical ailments. By the time I wanted to begin college again I couldn’t since I had to repay my previous loans in order to take out more to finish my last 3 semesters. So I began living with my father. At the moment I do housework occasionally to pay or things we need and sometimes on my student loan bill. I couldn’t afford child care now and in my area most of my classes are not offered online since they are upper level. I’m on government benefits to get me through till I can work which should be soon. But basically just an example of a stay at home mom who can’t afford to do either. However I’m lookin forward to working, but at the same time I’m cherishing the time I have with my daughter before I do get back in the workforce. She turned two years old today and this has been the best two years of my life. Hard but I think things like this happen for a reason

  • Lu

    What are you supposed to say when they tell you that? Just stop the conversation? “Oh that’s nice”

  • Mommy

    I don’t know how you ladies do it with more kids! I’m a stay at home Mom of a 3 year old boy, and this job is way underappreciated! Its the hardest and most important work in the world and it should be paid.

  • Denise

    lol nobody has no rude comments to tell me cause for one i speak my mind and two because i don’t really have friends cause there all fake and start to much drama and everyone i know is a stay at home mom too.

  • Holly Carnahan

    It’s always nice to know you are not alone in your situation whatever it is. I have done the full time working/long commute; started a business so I could work at home; and when my business went downhill in 2008 decided to stay home and focus on family. I have learned many things. Being a stay-at-home mom really means you “work at home,” and I wish all moms had the confidence to own their incredibly difficult career. I have felt ALL of the emotions of the women who have posted here and although it is a daily battle to “validate” your existence to ignorant people you meet, I continue to educate them any way I can. I’ve been married nearly 22 years and have 2 boys that are 7 and 11. Since I’ve been home I earned my real estate license and help friends/referrals a few times a year for extra money but more so for my own confidence. I take opportunities to do new things that might be “fun” and give me the break I need from the boredom of cleaning, errands etc. In fact I just made a commercial with the local electric company just by participating in their questionaire about plans. My marriage has never been better and my kids are thriving. Find your passion and at least do that a few hours a week! i love home decor and yard work. Embrace where you are in life and educate the ones who don’t understand. EVERONE has the CHOICE to do what they do, whether or not they believe it. I always say it’s a matter of how bad you want it and what are you willih to sacrifice to get it. There is always a way – you just need to push yourself beyond what you “think” you’re capable of. Never give up or settle! You are capable of amazing things; most importantly caring for and guiding our most precious resource…our children!!

  • Deb

    I agree with a lot of these. I’m sorry but the stay at home “moms” I know are all spoiled and lazy. Most don’t even cook anymore and feed their kids McDonalds for breakfast lunch and dinner. People act like raising a kid is the most laborious thing you can do. You can’t tell me changing a babies diaper is the same as doing construction in 100 degree heat or any intense labor.

  • Lora

    I am a stay at home mother, out of necessity and out of want. My fiance is a disabled veteran. I have a degree, but cannot do anything with it until I go to the next level. We live off his disability and me working from home. I have to take care of him and my son. If I were to go out and make any less than $15 an hour, I wouldn’t even be bringing home money. Everything would go to childcare and care for my fiance while I am at work. I am not a lazy stay at home mother. I feed my family only organic produce and grass fed meats. We live very eco-friendly and green. My house is not spotless due to toys being on the floor. HOWEVER, you will never see a spec of dust or grime anywhere. I am a clean freak. I live off of 5 hours of sleep a day. I work when my son is asleep. I clean when my son is awake and able to sit in his high chair or walker and watch me. So all of these upset me, but anyone who knows me would never say any of them to me.

  • Dee

    I love being at home with kids:-) I met other women through kids groups ; baby classes & always make play dates . It is very rewarding ! Friends I worked with we meet up with kids too ‘ so it’s busy busy lots to do ! When kids are sick we don’t have to worry who will mind them . I love it & time goes soo fast they r only small for a short time 🙁 I will return to work in a few years when all are n school ; I would not change a thing at present !

  • lina

    Im 25. A stay at home mom. I have a 5 yr old and i go to school full time. An ex friend of mine was like why dont you get a real job and told me i needed to take care of my daughter better. This is coming from someone who doesnt have kids. I just about punched her. Ppl dont realize how much work it is to have a clean house all the time have piles upon piles of homework and to chase a 5 yr old. To all you stay at home moms. I give you brownie points. Its ALOT of work.

  • Claire Noden

    It’s so lovely to read all the different ways we are all mums, whether we stay at home or whether we work, we do what we feel is the best we can do for our families. But I do genuinely believe that the importance of earning money has over taken the wider social conscience so that the one truly most valuable job in human existence…to raise the next generation of human beings… has been poo pooed by society as something you also have to do on the side. As if going to work for someone else so that you can pay your taxes is more important than you bringing up your child not AS important. I see men and women now questioning themselves at every turn, ‘Should I stay late to finish this work, or get back home before the kids go to bed?’ ‘Should I face the criticism of all my working mum friends by choosing to sacrifice holidays, clothes and ‘eating out’ so that I can give up working for someone else and look after the most important people in my life and their environment from which they grow.?’….haha you can probably tell what I chose. I think its a difficult one, and the number of comments above will only go down if we all start to respect the home-maker as much as we respect the breadwinner, male or female. And we have to move on from thinking that the home-maker role is somehow inferior to the CEO role. We are the CEO of our families whole universe….and we are paid in moments of joy from the smiles on their faces to the tissue they forgot to take out of their pocket before you washed their jeans…

  • Maria Fercovic

    One of my sisters always makes comments like ” well since you don’t have a job, I mean you know what I mean, you have plenty of time to print out coupons”. Oddly I always go into shock mode, and just think to myself actually I have a 24 hr job, that includes a 9 yr old son, an 8 yr old daughter, 3 yr old twin boys a husband a large house and oh yeah myself.

  • Abi

    You are free u can involve in other activities, I m working so don’t get time

  • cmklv

    So basically, don’t say anything at all…or else they find a way to make what you said “appear” wrong.